Robbo on Chipper

ESPN.com – MLB – Neyer: Chief Brave

I should have addressed the possibility that Chipper Jones, based purely on what he’s already done, already does rank among the 10 greatest third basemen… Like many third basemen, Chipper Jones doesn’t seem to be aging all that well, and his defensive problems will probably push him to first base or even DH sooner than later. But if he’s not the greatest Atlanta Braves hitter ever, he will be fairly soon.

Just to be clear, it’s Atlanta Braves hitter; Aaron and Mathews are still clearly 1-2. I’ll throw in that I’m pretty sure that if he finishes his career in Atlanta Andruw will have a case, though that’s stretching the meaning of “hitter” since so much of his value is defensive.

33 thoughts on “Robbo on Chipper”

  1. According to Prospectus, Dale Murphy has a career WARP3 of 90.1 (including the last few years at Philly and Colorado, which don’t really add much) versus Chipper’s current WARP3 of 70.4. Chipper’s last full season he had a WARP3 of 6.4. So using that metric, Chipper needs 3 or 4 more full seasons at something like his current level of production.

    ps – Don’t ask me what WARP3 means. Something about Wins over Replacement Player.

  2. What a great article on my favorite player ever. Hes the greatest and a deffinite team leader..Way to go Chipper! Get well soon

  3. Dale Murphy is the greatest Atlanta Brave hitter and with Chipper breaking down I don’t see that changing. Although I would love to see Andy Marte make a run at him in the next ten years.

  4. I think that unless Andruw or someone like Marte blows them both away, people will be arguing that one for a long time.

  5. Will Dale Murphy ever be inducted in the Hall of Fame? Most of us will agree he deserves to be. With the recent inductions I began thinking, what about the Murph? How long after retirement until you are eligible to be selected? (I know Murph has got to be eligible). I’m kinda worried that the Braves “bad” years may have tarnished his chance.

  6. hey francouer is on pace to shatter all braves’ records: homeruns, career batting average, strikeouts, fewest walks, etc… LOL :)

  7. Will Dale Murphy ever be inducted in the Hall of Fame?

    Barring a Veteran’s Committee miracle, no he won’t be. In my view of the world he would be, but I’m a fairly big Hall, peak over career guy. But Murph is crippled by the stats inflation that has happened in the game the last 12 years. Murph’s numbers were great at the time (good enough for back to back MVPs) but look pedestrian now and many voters are too dumb/lazy to do the translations. Add in the elitest kick that the voters are on these days where quality candidates like Alan Trammell are dismissed out of hand, and I think Murph is somewhat unfairly stuck on the outside looking in.

  8. He’s been eligible for a while, and if I recall correctly he’s losing votes as each year passes. His chances aren’t good at all. I don’t know what the vote was last time, but he’s probably at least nearing being dropped off the ballot. I think it’s his bad years, more so than the team’s, that is costing him most. He was nothing short of brilliant for five years, but he really just fell off the planet after 10 years. I don’t know how fair it is, but I think that’s the biggest factor working against him. The thing about the team being lousy during most of his run probably does cost him some, but really only because it makes people more likely to scrutinize his career and see just how bad he was once he got into his 30s.

  9. Good point about the era, nyb. It does kinda seem like the 80s is a bit of a no-man’s land, doesn’t it?

  10. Dale Murphy is the biggest reason that I’m a Braves fan. Shoot for the 80’s he WAS the Atlanta Braves. However he is not going to get into the Hall of Fame. He is one of those guys that won’t get in becuase to paraphrase the Hall is for the great not just the very good and although an argument can be made that for 3 or 4 seasons he was the best player in baseball he just didn’t sustain that quality of play long enough.
    I think that it can be argued that Chipper is already the greatest ATLANTA Brave. From 1996 – 2002 he was one of the premium offensive players in the National League. I don’t know if he can get back to that level of performance but he still has the potential to rack up some pretty big career numbers before its all over with.

    Rufino Linares, wow thats a name from the distant past.

  11. If the Murph played for a team on the West coast or one of the big northern teams he would have been in already. Becaused he played in the south, he won’t get in,

  12. Oh, as Rob said in his column (which is Insider so I guess you couldn’t read it) the greatest Atlanta Brave is certainly Niekro, and probably Maddux to follow. I don’t think anyone on the current team is going to catch Knucksie unless Smoltz pitches until he’s 45 or something. I wouldn’t put it past him, but it’s unlikely. Or if Andruw goes Sosa on the league for five years and winds up with 600+ homers.

  13. Smoltz will clearly be the most popular and greatest Brave if he stays in Atlanta for the rest of his career. He has done it all and done it well.

  14. As for the HOF, I agree Murph’s got no chance, but I think it’s a travesty (because I too value peak over career). His case is often compared to that of Maris (the only other 2-year consecutive MVP not in), but interestingly, Murph’s career through age 30 (1986) is the #1 comparable by BPro’s PECOTA to a current player…. ARod. I would certainly think ARod deserved entry into the HOF if he retired today. And so, I believe, Murph does too – even if he fell off the cliff after 1987.

  15. Chipper has won a division title in every year he has played. No other player in major league history can say the same (playing in 10+ seasons)…

  16. Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, 10 Years in a row, every year they played. Javy Lopez could’ve said 12 years until last year. Others have done it more than 10 years in a row, but not every year of their career. As much as we’d like to think, Chipper, Jeter and Rivera won’t be able to say that either when their career is over.

    Don’t think it means as much.

  17. Jeter came up in 1995 (for only 48 BA), as did Rivera (as a starter, for ten games, plus nine in relief) and while the Yankees made the postseason that year, Jeter didn’t play. It’s a technicality.

  18. Being in the playoffs for 10= season, every year of your career, does it really mean all that much when there are so many teams in the playoffs and you have free agency. If they had playoffs in the 50s, the Dodgers and Yankeess would have had runs of 15 or more year easily, maybe 20. Technicality.

  19. I don’t think you can use the “My team won 10+ consecutive division titles” argument. The Hall measures your personal achievements. What your team did while you were on that team seems pretty irrelevent to the voters. Now, Jeter and Rivera have been huge for the Yankees, and Chipper has probably been even bigger for the Braves during their respective streaks, but I don’t see how using your team’s success to further your case for the Hall works.

    Wouldn’t you have to think that if Chipper has one or two more 40+ homer seasons and an MVP caliber season, that would have to be enough to make him a first ballot HOFer? As Tim Kurkjian said in the other article, there’s only ten third basemen in the Hall. Mike Schmidt seems like the only other player who has had such a great, consistent career, and he even fell off a cliff after his age-37 season.

  20. 4 teams per league is “so many”? Have you watched the NFL? NBA? NHL? College football or basketball?

    Making the playoffs that many years in a row is an accomplishment and shouldn’t be written off by any technicality.

  21. For what it’s worth: Neither Jeter nor Rivera have participated in a run of 10 consecutive titles–it’s 7 each (1998-2004). The Yanks finished in second in 1995 & 1997. Rivera was a big part of the 1995 team, Jeter was not.

  22. Dale Murphy is the greatest Atlanta Brave hitter and with Chipper breaking down I don’t see that changing

    Even adjusting for era, Chipper comes out ahead, though it’s perhaps closer than I’d have thought. Looking at adjusted OPS+ over at BBRef, chipper has two seasons with a higher OPS+ than Murph’s best season. Murph has six seasons with a mark above 130, Chipper 7. All told, Chipper’s lowest OPS+ in 10 seasons is 109, with a range from 109 to 175; Murphy’s top ten seasons range from 105 to 156, with 5 seasons below 105. So Chipper would have to really crash and burn to parallel that, but hey. nobody expect Murph to crash and burn the way he did.

    This, of course, is all assuming we grade only on hitting; Chipper’s not as bad defensively as BPro would have us believe, but he’s not been in the same category as Murphy. I’d also be willing to yield some ground to those who would argue that the hitting environment in the 90s allows more range for people to post higher OPS+ marks, whereas the narrower range of performance of the 80s made that harder. At worst I’d say it’s close, but I’d still have Chipper ahead.

    good point about the era, nyb. It does kinda seem like the 80s is a bit of a no-man’s land, doesn’t it?

    the guy who’ll really be screwed on this is Fred McGriff. Fred was every bit the hitter rafael palmeiro was (even discounting recent news); however, Raffy peaked in hitters parks in the 90s, and fred peaked from 1988 to 1994; as such, he couldn’t accumulate the counting stats that palmeiro did, even while hitting just as well. Fred’s top ten OPS+ seasons range from 130 to 165; Palmeiro’s from 133 to 160, and they’re very similar if you expand it to top 13 seasons. It’s only from seasons 14-16 that Palmeiro is distinctly ahead, but that’s offseat by Fred having a slightly better peak. The counting stats are all that separate the two, and that’s largely determined by when their peaks happened and where. Yet until this week, Palmeiro was a shoo-in and McGriff was likely on the outside looking in.

  23. Interesting comments, no stats to back up my opinions (sometimes the best way) but i believe Murphy was the best player in the league from 82-85 and had another great season in 87, he’s a HOF in my book, but I think his only chance is with Veteran’s committee, Chipper on other hand is a definte HOF and would get my vote as greatest Altanta player. Smoltz should make HOF easily, McGriff to me will always be the guy swinging lazily at outside pitches (admittedly with Eric Gregg behind play they were strikes) no HOF for Crime Dog without a ticket.

  24. Of all the post-Murphy Braves, which do you guys think will eventually have their numbers retired at Turner Field? I think Smoltz and Chipper are no-brainers, and, depending on how long he remains a Brave, Andruw. I’d love to see them retire Maddux and Glavine’s numbers but I wonder if their departures will make them less likely to be honored.

  25. Maddux can’t be penalized for leaving — the Braves let him go. Glavine’s departure has obviously been more controversial, but I don’t recall any acrimony originating from the Braves’ organization, so I think he’ll receive the honor as well, and most deservedly so. I think all five of the names you mentioned will end up having their numbers retired.

  26. The Braves haven’t just made the playoffs — they’ve won the division in each of those years (the West and the East). There is a big difference.

    Being the best offensive player on a team with unparallel success will count for alot. Just look at the hall of fame roster from the Steelers of the 1970’s…

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